Books Fantasy Reads

giorno

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My take:
Hate on Harry - This is driven by Cristos who is Black Council and allied with Outsiders (who fear Harry as Starborn) and they want to take him out of the game. We'll probably see a trifecta of villains, Titan/Fomor, Black Council and Outsiders vs rest.

There'll probably be a confession/boast monologue from the villains which would prove Thomas innocence and Harry will free him.

Murphy becomes the third Knight of the Sword and takes up Michael's sword, Amoracchius. It also heals her.

Lot of old villains rising up again, Genkowska, Marva and reference to the Necromancers (cowl etc) it's all coming together. Plus we get to Harry's past. I sense the series is coming to an end perhaps within next 3 books.

The interaction between Harry vs McCoy and Harry vs Ramirez doesn't fit well with their dynamics from earlier books.
Hmmm

I get the feeling Murphy is gonna die honestly

Also Cristos being black hat seems too easy, think it's more likely another peabody situation - someone close and high placed steering things, using Harry's reputation among the WC against him. There's also that bit with McCoy when he mentions how Mab and Lara are trying to isolate him, which i think is precisely what is happening, only it's not Mab/Lara doing it but the black hats, though Mab is also a possibility

Also i don't remember references to the necromamcers? The most we get is Harry's T.Rex spell :lol:
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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Goodreads has made some lists of its top 100 popular SF books and its top 100 popular fantasy books. It reflects probably more how many people read a book than its qualities. There are also two other lists on its blog.

I read 46 of the SF books and 62 of the fantasy ones (helped a lot by the fact I read quite often the first book of a popular series and stop there (21)).
I've only read 19 in Sci-Fi (and have 1 that I plan to start next) and 23 in Fantasy (with a couple of DNFs). It certainly is a weird list.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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Hmmm

I get the feeling Murphy is gonna die honestly

Also Cristos being black hat seems too easy, think it's more likely another peabody situation - someone close and high placed steering things, using Harry's reputation among the WC against him. There's also that bit with McCoy when he mentions how Mab and Lara are trying to isolate him, which i think is precisely what is happening, only it's not Mab/Lara doing it but the black hats, though Mab is also a possibility

Also i don't remember references to the necromamcers? The most we get is Harry's T.Rex spell :lol:
That'd be cruel on Karin. She could have died in earlier books, so keeping her crippled only to die now. Damn. Would certainly be shocking and unexpected.

As to the Senior Council member to be the dark horse, We have :

Merlin is a possibility, but then he comes across as cut throat politician and anal rules enforcer than a villian.
Martha Liberty, Listens to Wind and Gatekeeper have all been in Dresden camp. Though we don't know much about Martha, hard to think of this trio as backstabber. Perhaps Gatekeeper was compromised by an outside? But then if that was the case, it'd be easy to sabotage the Gates without going through all this.

McCoy loves Dresden...but Dresden's comments on him not being in control in this book raises some questions. It'd be a big surprise twist if McCoy was compromised and has to be killed by Dresden. Would also resolve the "hate of Thomas" angle conveniently. Dresden can inherit the blackstaff too. Hmmm. Intriguing possibilities here. His comments on somebody close backstabbing also takes on new meaning. Thomas was a bit too obvious and not really a candidate to this comment.
 

Revan

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Goodreads has made some lists of its top 100 popular SF books and its top 100 popular fantasy books. It reflects probably more how many people read a book than its qualities. There are also two other lists on its blog.

I read 46 of the SF books and 62 of the fantasy ones (helped a lot by the fact I read quite often the first book of a popular series and stop there (21)).
Only 23 fantasy and 17 sci-fi for me. Probably cause I am the other way around, I roughly stop reading a series. And fantasy series (and also sci-fi to a lesser degree) have a lot of books.

From those 40 books I have read, 30+ were series so the number of books probably would have been 150-200 or so (just guessing, not calculating).
 

WI_Red

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Goodreads has made some lists of its top 100 popular SF books and its top 100 popular fantasy books. It reflects probably more how many people read a book than its qualities. There are also two other lists on its blog.

I read 46 of the SF books and 62 of the fantasy ones (helped a lot by the fact I read quite often the first book of a popular series and stop there (21)).
24 For Sci-Fi. I can't believe We are Legion (we are Bob) made the list, I love that book!

30 from fantasy, but this is hurt by my lack of interest in urban fantasy (with the exception the the Dresden files if that falls in that genre).
 

harshad

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Goodreads has made some lists of its top 100 popular SF books and its top 100 popular fantasy books. It reflects probably more how many people read a book than its qualities. There are also two other lists on its blog.

I read 46 of the SF books and 62 of the fantasy ones (helped a lot by the fact I read quite often the first book of a popular series and stop there (21)).
Just checked this and I have read 23 Fantasy Books and 10 Sci-fi.
 

Fosu-Mens

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Mistborn has lots of magic with the learning element understated. Nevernight is vice versa happening in a school with only two people having access to magic.
Magic system is faith based in Nevernight where it's genetic in Mistborn
Nevernight is more bloody/gritty (though no gore) and has some explicit sexual content which MIstborn doesn't have.
The macro world building is bigger in Mistborn whereas Nevernight takes places mostly in a academy with macro elements brought in relevance as needed.
.
Mistborn, Red Sister and Nevernight all have similarities in young girl turning into magical warrior but similarities end there. Their takes are all unique and interesting.

Have you read Red Sister? At a stretch, I can say that the likelihood of liking Nevernight is high if you liked Mistborn. No guarantees.
Ait. Will check it out sometime in the future I think. Currently got other books to focus on...

Recently read Davis Ashura's A Testament of Steel which is the first book in his new series attempting to emulate some of LOTR and WOT (according to himself)...
One of the best first books in a series (not universe) I have read. Not quite Blood Song, but certainly on pair with KKC, Dawn of Wonder and Mistborn. 9/10.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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Harrow the Ninth
by Tamsyn Muir

Overall: +7

A book of two halves that deserves to be read more than once to appreciate it fully. If you had any notions of how the plot may progress after finishing Gideon the Ninth, be prepared to suffer disappointment....followed by realization that a new wonderful book is waiting for you. For me this falls a shade below Gideon the Ninth...but still a very good read. And I'm eagerly awaiting Alecto the Ninth!

Writing/Plot/Pace: +7

As I said, it's a tale of two halves. First half (more like 75%) is all about Harrow. It's flush with prose and lean with plot. Looks like TM has gotten carried away with the prose a bit. It's fascinating, it's rich and it's frustrating after a point. There's only so much I could take about Harrow's misery monologue where her every emotion is described in just way too many words (nice words but still!). The plot sags but the author keeps throwing nuggets in just to keep you pushing through. The worldbuilding is also a bit static and we get the feel of a dark gothic drama all through.

Then we get to the last section, which ironically despite its names has less of Harrow and we get to the rollercoaster ride we got in book 1. The prose (rightfully!) takes a backseat to the plot. Events move at blitzkrieg pace and revelations hammer you one after other and you just up trying to anticipate where the author will take you next and just roll with it. Your impressions of characters get torn to shreds as they unveil other facets and as the book says you are "immersed into the river" gasping for breath.

The writing becomes a bit more confusing as it's written from a second person perspective which takes some getting used to.

Characters: +7

Nothing special here. We get to see many of the cast from earlier book make an appearance providing continuity and get to see new Lyctors and other plot movers. Lead character of Harrow spends most of book trying to adapt to her Lyctor-hood, but not much in way of character development. The Lyctors are interesting bunch and the socio-political dynamics between them make for a very interesting read.
 

WI_Red

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As a bit of an aside, what are people thoughts on audiobook vs. print as a format? I have found that I can get through way more of my backlog by focusing on audiobooks. A good narrator can elevate an ok book to levels it doesn't deserve, and conversely a bad narrator can make a good book un-listenable. As an example, The Lies of Locke Lamora is, in my opinion, a phenomenal book. However, the work done by Michael Page elevates it to pantheon status for me. It still remains the only book I have ever restarted immediately after finishing it. In any case, interested to hear opinions.
 

ivaldo

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As a bit of an aside, what are people thoughts on audiobook vs. print as a format? I have found that I can get through way more of my backlog by focusing on audiobooks. A good narrator can elevate an ok book to levels it doesn't deserve, and conversely a bad narrator can make a good book un-listenable. As an example, The Lies of Locke Lamora is, in my opinion, a phenomenal book. However, the work done by Michael Page elevates it to pantheon status for me. It still remains the only book I have ever restarted immediately after finishing it. In any case, interested to hear opinions.
I spend a lot of time in my car for my work, so I've come to rely on audiobooks. I probably listen to 10 audiobooks for every one I read now. You're right in that the narrator is everything. Being English, I might be somewhat bias in preferring British voice actors, but for some reason I find American accents a little jarring. It's fine for books set in America, like The Magicians, but not for your average fantasy.

Page is an absolutely phenomenal narrator, but Stephen Pacey is the best for me. His work on The First Law series is nothing short of sensational. I can't imagine Glokta without hearing his voice.

Nick Taylor also deserves recognition for his narration of the Tawny Man Trilogy. I was really disappointed when he didn't pick up his role again for the final trilogy. Having 3 different narrators voice Fitz hurts the immersion to a degree, especially as they pronounce 'live ship' differently.
 

celia

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I am easily distracted while listening at podcasts, I mostly think of Welcome to the Night Vale that I enjoy very much but I can't focus enough for the whole episode (I am really glad there are transcripts), I don't think I can do better with audiobooks. It doesn't help I probably don't understand 30+% of the words in spoken english.

I mostly do print or ebooks.
 

WI_Red

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I'm all e-reader now, mostly on my phone. I find myself distracted too easily on audio to have that as an option. Still OK with print, but since I can carry 100s of books in my phone, it's much more versatile than physical print.
I can see that. Once in a while I have to rewind 30 s b/c I got distracted. My motivation really is about time. I used to drive a lot for work, so my only "reading" time was in the car. Now I don't drive as much, but what time I do have seems to be occupied with house chores (we are self remodeling a house). I have a stack of books I want to read, but I know that there is no way I can make a dent if I stick to print/e-readers.

I am easily distracted while listening at podcasts, I mostly think of Welcome to the Night Vale that I enjoy very much but I can't focus enough for the whole episode (I am really glad there are transcripts), I don't think I can do better with audiobooks. It doesn't help I probably don't understand 30+% of the words in spoken english.

I mostly do print or ebooks.
Major respect to anyone who listens/reads in their non-native language. Do you also read the books in english (if that was the language it was written in) or do you wait for a translation?
 

celia

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Major respect to anyone who listens/reads in their non-native language. Do you also read the books in english (if that was the language it was written in) or do you wait for a translation?
I read in english most of the time. If I have to wait for translations... at first, I actually didn't care much one way or another, especially since I didn't read recent books, but one of the first fantasy books I bought was in English because I saw that I had to buy two books in french because the French cut many long fantasy books in two when they publish it. Though sometimes they publish if it is popular enough another that is the whole book.
 

Kristjan

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Print or ebooks for me as is.
Do an occasional audiobook in Icelandic but like others I get often distracted and loose the thread of what is going on. That would probably be even worse in English I would think.

Read in Icelandic, English and Swedish. Have read LOTR in all three languages :)
 

WI_Red

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Print or ebooks for me as is.
Do an occasional audiobook in Icelandic but like others I get often distracted and loose the thread of what is going on. That would probably be even worse in English I would think.

Read in Icelandic, English and Swedish. Have read LOTR in all three languages :)
ok, now you're just showing off :)
 

Fosu-Mens

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Kindle or audiobook, all on English as few, if any, fantasy books get translated and some of the translations can change the overall quality of the books.

Usually kindle, as the amounts of books available on audio is limited. Audiobook is also dependent on the narrator, number of POVs and complexity of the plot. The notable exception of this is Steven Pacey reading Joe Abercrombie. Kate Reading and Kramer also worked well for Sanderson.
 

WI_Red

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Kindle or audiobook, all on English as few, if any, fantasy books get translated and some of the translations can change the overall quality of the books.

Usually kindle, as the amounts of books available on audio is limited. Audiobook is also dependent on the narrator, number of POVs and complexity of the plot. The notable exception of this is Steven Pacey reading Joe Abercrombie. Kate Reading and Kramer also worked well for Sanderson.
Agreed. These two almost made getting through the last few Wheel of Time books doable. Almost.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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Hero Forged
- Josh Erikson

It's an urban fantasy like no other I've read.

Gabe a small time conman is used as a pawn in a bigger game and ends up with a evil god in his head, a succubus bound to him and the evil gods lover god hunting him. Add in various supernatural factions working to their own ends and we get a most interesting world (ironically set in Nebraska) to delve into. The story is fast, action packed and unravels smoothly both in the current action and macro plot, to ensure you keep the pages turning fast.

If you're thinking of Dresden or Iron Druid, don't. It's totally different.

If you are in mood for something new and different, highly recommended.

8/10
 

Revan

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Kindle or (rarely) audiobooks. Always in English cause translations suck.
 

SmashedHombre

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Started and not finished an awful lot of average to not-even-average fantasy recently, so it's been a while since I've read a book worth reviewing. With that in mind: The Wolf, Leo Carew.

A young man is unexpectedly thrust onto the throne of his people as they face their greatest threat- an empire of man lead by a brilliant and ambitious general. But with enemies inside his court and armoured knights terrorising his lands, this newly appointed leader must find a way to defeat those who question his claim to the crown and unite his fractured and divided legions before it's too late.

In terms of storyline, it's nothing new, but it's exactly my kind of fantasy; low on magic, high on heroism, swords, and battles. It's a fast-paced page-turner and I'd definitely recommend it if you're into that kinda thing. I've just started the second book and it's as promising as the first.
 

Beachryan

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Had put off reading Gideon the Ninth til the sequel was out, wish I hadn't waited. What an amazing book, a bit unlike anything I've read before. Took me a while to kind of get into it, but the last 3/4s of it have caused me to barely sleep :)

Looking forward to the next one.
 

The Cat

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Been reading the Library at Mount Char got about 1/4 through it and then work has stressed me out big time - have waited to pick it up again it's not much of a feel good book is it :)

Will carry on on the weekend - have a week off next week.
 

DMacgraw

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Just finished the third book in the Mercy Thompson series, by Patricia Briggs. All three books so far have been rather bland. Will see if it picks up in excitement because I've read good things about this series.
 

celia

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Have you seen people tell the three first books are bad but it is worth it after?

I read the first one, and I just thought romance urbane fantasy is just not for me (after also reading few other popular books in this category). I have learnt my lesson after reading the two first books of a popular fantasy series in the french speaking world (no wonder I am quite wary of the french-speaking fantasy). I only try a second book when I dislike the first if many people that disliked the first really liked the second.

I finished reading Ship of Smoke and Steel by Django Wexler (a fast-paced YA action fantasy, quite shallow characters but fun reading), I really should give a try to his adult fantasy series.

I have started Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. It is readable but the way it is written it is quite a fairy tale (it is hard to connect with the characters when most of the time, the story is told, not shown. And also when the background male population is just mindless puppets "in love" because of a pretty face.). At least it is quite short.